When the stock market closes on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reports that President Biden will have some bragging rights—the best 100-day start for a president since FDR. The benchmark S&P 500 is up 10% since Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, second only to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's surge of 80% in 1933 over the same span. The latter rise can be explained by a rebound from a crash in the Great Depression, while Biden's is driven by recovery from the pandemic. The 10% figure roughly doubles the 100-day start of President Trump and is well ahead of the average presidential gain of 3.2%. Stimulus payments, increasing vaccinations, and a continued reopening of the economy are credited for Biden's spike.
“We do have an economy that’s opening back up, with a super strong consumer, with people getting vaccinated, so it’s a big positive,” says Victoria Fernandez of Crossmark Global Investment. “Looking since the middle of January, I don’t think anyone can say that there’s a specific reason as to why the market should not have done this.” As Matt Egan writes at CNN Business, presidents tend to get too much credit when the market pops and too much blame when it fizzles. He also notes that the market could well cool off the rest of the year, with rising inflation the biggest potential threat. At CNBC, Bob Pisani sees another risk for the next 100 days: "Stocks may be simply be a victim of their own success," he writes, suggesting that post-pandemic growth is peaking. (Read more President Biden stories.)